Your Pet’s Winter Coat

Longtime pet owners know what to expect when the days start getting shorter and the nights start getting colder – the pet is going to start shedding more than normal. But those new to dog or cat ownership might not be familiar with this cycle, and could become concerned. Not to worry, what’s happening is perfectly normal. Your pet’s getting its winter coat.

A winter coat is a layer of heavy, protective fur that a dog or cat will grow in the fall for the upcoming cold months. In the spring, the winter coat is replaced by a shorter, lighter one for the warm weather, called a summer coat. In the transition between coats, the pet can lose masses of fur. This is most obvious in “double-coated” breeds: those that have both a rough, protective long overcoat and a soft, insulating undercoat, so the fur loss is more dramatic.
The amount of shedding varies widely from breed to breed. Some breeds shed heavily all year long, and some appear to lose little fur at all. All breeds – even the heaviest shedders – can be tamed by a regular and frequent schedule of combing and brushing. It’s best to work against the grain and close to the skin to catch as much of the ready-to-fall fur as possible.
No matter what the breed, heavy seasonal shedding is normal, but some heavy shedding can be a sign of health problems. If you notice your pet’s coat seems dull or there is excessive hair loss, ask a veterinarian for advice. And as always, feel free to contact Willard Vet for more information.
For more than 20 years, Willard Veterinary Clinic has provided dedicated veterinary care for the communities of Quincy, Boston, Dorchester, Milton, Braintree, Weymouth, Canton, Randolph, Hingham, Abington, Hanover, and Rockland. Contact us to see why we’re different!

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